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      Un momento with Domenico Capilongo

       
      By
      Jun. 6, 2017

      Domenico CapilongoDomenico Capilongo is a writer, teacher, and karate instructor. He’s also a dad, husband, and “Toronto guy.” He has written three books of poetry and a book of short fiction. His latest book of poetry, send, explores the ways in which we communicate. From smoke signals to texting, Capilongo uses lyric meditation, personal narratives and experimental poetry to examine how we choose to relate to one another. Capilongo is also a contributor to Italocanadese with his “Un Momento” series, where he profiles Italian-Canadian writers using a Q&A platform. This time, we turn the tables on Capilongo – it’s his turn to be featured in “un momento.” The official launch of send will take place on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 3:30PM at Supermarket Restaurant & Bar in Toronto (268 Augusta Ave).

      Be sure to follow Capilongo’s work at http://domcapilongo.wixsite.com/home.

      What was the inspiration behind your poetry collection, send?

      The inspiration for this collection came from so many places. I guess it started from noticing how fast the technology around communication has developed in the last few years. As a high school teacher, I have really noticed firsthand how communication has totally changed. I have also been inspired so much by listening to music, and one song that really sparked the collection was a song by Arcade Fire, We Used to Wait. The song is a lament for a time when we used to write love letters, sign our name and wait for them to arrive and it was in the waiting that we found so much meaning. So I chose to write about, and in, different forms of communication and also explore what we say to each other.

      Some of the final poems in send are an homage to both your grandparents and their history. What inspired those particular poems? 

      I often write about my grandparents. I think they can shape us quite a bit and also can be a key to understanding ourselves. I thought about different ways communication played a part in their lives. In particular, I shared a room with my Nonna and she used to snore loudly all night. I can still hear it and it had an important rhythm, and was in itself a form of communication that I now share with my own family every night!

      What are your thoughts about social media and its influence/effect on the future of human interaction?

      Well, like anything thing else, I think that technology and how we use it can overtake us, and if we’re not careful, we will lose the ability to communicate properly with one another. It’s been proven that humans thrive on face-to-face communication, but people are minimizing this contact. I think in the future, people who are able to talk and listen face-to-face will be more healthy, successful and all round more fun to be around.

      Is it safe to say that you are obsessed with the telephone in all its incarnations? Where does this obsession come from?

      I find the object of the telephone so fascinating. I think our connection to the pre-cellular phone was far more intimate than the touch screen. It allowed us to focus on sound. The intimacy of listening and speaking into a device and holding the weight of it close to you is mostly lost. So as this species is starting to die out, I like to try and document it on social media like some kind of National Geographic photographer.

      Your stage presence at readings is both confident and humorous. Where does that talent come from? Was there perhaps some acting in your past? Or is this a skill you acquired as a teacher?

      I like doing readings. I find it exciting to engage with an audience and feel how the words transfer to the reader or listener. I’ve acted in theatre before and enjoyed it. I also think in order to try and hold teenagers’ attention as a teacher requires a certain level of performance that I really enjoy.

      Can you describe your writing process?

      I don’t really have a set process for writing. I move from inspiration to writing exercises and then project-driven design to get the writing out. I sometimes write daily depending on what I’m working on, but I try not to stress out too much about how much or when I’m writing, as opposed to focusing on the quality of what I’m writing. Lately, I find that I get inspired first, then design a concept for a project, and then work through that until I feel done.

      What are you working on next?

      I’ve recently finished an entire book of poetry based on a jazz song entitled Salt Peanuts. I was obsessed with this song so I decided to write over 80 poems about the song, the musicians, and about the amazing snack. I’m also trying to finish a novel about a young man writing to his unborn child, and a picture book about a boy who doesn’t want to kiss his Bisnonna.

      One Response to “Un momento with Domenico Capilongo”

      1. Domenico Capilongo says:

        The photo is by robackerman.com. Thanks Rob!

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